Saturday, March 7, 2009

THE BATTLE FOR TOBACCO ROAD: THE READERS DIGEST VERSION

Some of you with other ACC affiliations are, no doubt, tired of all the talk about that North Carolina-Duke rivalry. The rest of you understand completely that it remains the best rivalry in college basketball and should be revered as such.

So, here’s a rundown on some of the more notable games in the series which should set the table for Sunday’s finale in Chapel Hill*

In chronological order:
THE FRED LIND GAME. March 2, 1968: No. 10 DUKE 87, No. 3 NORTH CAROLINA 86 3OT – Seldom used junior Fred Lind erupted for 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks after having only scored 21 points total in his entire career. No, that’s not a misprint – that’s CAREER. At the conclusion of the game, the students carried Lind to Duke’s main quad (where they set him and a venerable Duke bench on fire?).

THE EIGHT POINTS IN SEVENTEEN SECONDS GAME. March 2, 1974: No. 4 NORTH CAROLINA, 96, DUKE 92 OT – The Blue Devils led the Heels 86-78 with 17 seconds left. Although it was prior to the three-point shot, Carolina rallied with a pair of free throws and two forced turnovers, and then tied the score on Walter Davis's 30 foot bank shot as time expired. The Tar Heels won in overtime capping what may be the greatest comeback in college basketball history. It was certainly one of the shortest.

THE SPANARKEL SNOOZEFEST GAME. February 24, 1979: No. 6 DUKE 47, No. 4 NORTH CAROLINA 40 – Duke’s Jim Spanarkel’s Senior Day game was an odd affair as the Heels ran the four corners offense throughout the first half and were scoreless at intermission. Eventually, Spanarkel would score 15 points in the second half and finish with a game-high 17 points, hitting 8-of-9 field goal attempts.

THE BACK WHEN TAR HEEL NATION LIKED MATT DOHERTY GAME. December 5, 1980: No. 10 NORTH CAROLINA 78, DUKE 76 – UNC stars Al Wood and Sam Perkins were in foul trouble, but James Worthy did his best to pick up the slack, leading the Tar Heels with 26 points. Gene Banks gave Duke its second lead of the game, 73-71, with 2:36 left to play. North Carolina came back to tie the game at 76. Future Tar Heel head coach Matt Doherty, a freshman at the time, was then fouled, and hit a free throw with 12 seconds remaining to provide the winning margin.

THE GENE BANKS TUXEDO GAME. February 28, 1981: DUKE 66, No.11 NORTH CAROLINA 65 (OT) – Senior Gene Banks put on a tuxedo and threw roses to the home crowd, and the Blue Devils nursed a 46-45 lead late in regulation. Two Sam Perkins free throws gave Carolina a 58-56 lead with two seconds to play, but Tuxedo Banks hit a jumper at the buzzer to force overtime. To no one’s surprise, in retrospect, Banks (25 points) rebounded a miss and banked home the game-winner with 19 seconds to go.

THE ADIOS MICHAEL, HELLO AIR JORDAN GAME. March 3, 1984: No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 96, DUKE 83 2OT – Senior Night for Doherty, Jordan and Sam Perkins looked grim until the Blue Devils missed the front end of a one-and-one. Doherty took the inbounds pass the length of the court and hit a 15-footer with one second remaining to force overtime. The teams traded baskets during the first overtime, and eventually Jordan and Perkins carried the Tar Heels to the victory. UNC became the first ACC team in 10 years to go undefeated in conference play (14-0).

THE OH-FOR-FOUR GAME. January 21, 1988: No. 9 DUKE 70, No.2 NORTH CAROLINA 69 – Danny Ferry made a free throw with 52 seconds remaining to provide the winning margin, but not before North Carolina forced a turnover and failed to convert on four field goal attempts in the final 30 seconds. J.R. Reid was a monster for the Tar Heels netting 27 points. This was the first of three Duke victories for the season.

THE J.R. CAN REID GAME. March 12, 1989: No.9 NORTH CAROLINA 77, No. 7 DUKE 74 – And then it got a little ugly. In a very intense ACC tournament final set up by a regular season split, the Tar Heels earned their first ACC tourney title in seven years. UNC had previously defeated then undefeated Duke at Cameron in the infamous “J.R. Can’t Reid” game. Tensions between coaches Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski boiled over during Tournament week, stemming from the Reid sign in Durham in January, and by the time the two teams inevitably met in the conference championship, the game had developed the atmosphere of a heavyweight title fight. The game saw an incredible 49 fouls called between the two squads. Carolina prevailed, but only when Ferry's 3/4 court shot rimmed out as time expired.

THE MONTROSS, BLOODY MONTROSS GAME. February 5, 1992: No. 9 NORTH CAROLINA 75, No. 1 DUKE 73 – There was blood. In a close game with 10 first-half lead changes, the Tar Heels survived a 9 ½ minute field goal drought by making free throws. Derrick Phelps hit two with 44.5 seconds remaining to give UNC a 75-73 lead. Christian Laettner had two shots to tie the game in the final 24 seconds, but missed both. However, the lasting image from this game was Eric Montross’s bloody face. Looking more like a boxer than a basketball player, he made two late free throws to help ice the game. The image is now a staple of the rivalry.

THE MIKE KRYZEWSKI’S BACK HURTS SO LET’S THROW PETE GAUDET UNDER THE BUS GAME or THE JEFF CAPEL SHOT GAME. February 2, 1995: No.2 NORTH CAROLINA 102, DUKE 100 2OT – With Coach K on a leave of absence, Duke suffered through their worst season in over a decade. The Tar Heels led early behind Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse, but the beleaguered Devils charged back. With three seconds left in the first overtime, Carolina led 95-92 and sent Serge Zwikker to the foul line with the chance to ice the game. He promptly missed both free throws, setting up Duke's Jeff Capel for a running, 37-foot heave that tied the game at the buzzer. Needless to say the Crazies were excited. With the game still tied late in the second overtime, Donald Williams scored for Carolina and Jeff McInnis stole the inbounds pass for an easy layup, putting the Heels up 102-98. Steve Wojciechowski's last jumper missed and Greg Newton's desperation put back drew nothing but air, preserving UNC's 102-100 victory to Zwikker’s obvious relief.
THE ELTON BRAND CAN PLAY GAME. February 28, 1998: No.1 DUKE 77, No.3 NORTH CAROLINA 75 – Duke freshman Elton Brand rallied the Blue Devils from a 64-47 second-half deficit with 12 minutes remaining to a 77-75 victory. Ouch. In addition, the win made the Devils the ACC regular-season champion, and gave Coach K his 500th victory. Both point guard Ed Cota and freshman center Brendan Haywood had a chance to tie the game from the free-throw line in the waning seconds, but both missed the first of two free throws. Ouch, again.

THE WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO JOE FORTE? GAME: February 3, 2000: No.3 DUKE 90, NORTH CAROLINA 86 OT – UNC entered the game unranked for the first time in 10 years, and Shane Battier made them pay. Battier had 14 points in the first half while the Heels were committing 14 turnovers. Duke’s lead ballooned to 19 points before Carolina rallied, scoring on 19 of their final 22 possessions. North Carolina’s Joe Forte canned a triple with 5.2 seconds left to force the extra period, but it was all Duke in the final frame.

THE BRENDAN HAYWOOD’S REVENGE GAME. February 1, 2001: No. 4 NORTH CAROLINA 85, No. 2 DUKE 83 – Carolina’s Brendan Haywood, who had missed a chance to beat Duke at the free throw line two years prior, entered this contest shooting 48 percent from the line. None the less, he made a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds left to win the game. Duke tied it for the last time with 9.3 seconds left on a three-pointer by Mike Dunleavy, Jr., which provided T.A.H. Pop Culture and UNC Basketball Trivia Editor, Young A.T., with one of her finest moments as a Tar Heel loyalist. When Dunleavy’s first of six three-point attempts swished through as the clock wound down, Young A.T. verbally assaulted the television with “F***, F***, F***!!!!!!” Luckily, Haywood saved the day.

THE COLLINS V. DOHERTY LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT ONE ROUND FIGHT GAME. March 9, 2003: NORTH CAROLINA 82, No.10 DUKE 79 – Fiesty UNC coach Matt Doherty and Duke assistant coach Chris Collins "bumped heads" after Carolina’s Raymond Felton was injured by Dahntay Jones while both players were looking for a rebound. Subsequently, Duke’s Andre Buckner bumped Doherty and several players from both teams became involved in shoving matches before “cooler heads prevailed.” Nothing else about the game is particularly memorable.

THE OL’ ROY’S NOT-SO-HOT DEBUT GAME: February 4, 2004: No.1 DUKE 83, No.17 NORTH CAROLINA 81 OT – In Roy Williams’s first rivalry game, Chris Duhon's reverse layup with 6.5 seconds left in overtime gave Duke its 16th straight victory overall and fifth victory in the last six years on North Carolina's home court.

THE DAVID NOEL ISN’T SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE LAST SHOT GAME. February 9, 2005: No.7 DUKE 71, No.2 North Carolina 70 – In a game ESPN hyped to the max, both teams had below average shooting nights as the final score demonstrates. Duke led most of the way while Sean May (23 points, 18 rebounds) kept the Heels close. North Carolina got within a point at 71-70 with under a minute to play. After Redick air balled a shot, Felton had a clear lane to the basket, but chose to try to run the called play. The Blue Devils saw it coming, and a subsequent double team left Felton without an option and ultimately the Heels without a final shot.

THE MARVIN WILLIAMS SAVES THE DAY GAME. March 6, 2005: No.2 NORTH CAROLINA 75, No. 6 DUKE 73 – This game looked so much like a Duke win, that even after it was over it still seemed like the Blue Devils had won. On Senior Day in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels trailed Duke 73-64 with three minutes to play. Sean May rebounded a miss of his own, was fouled on the put back, and converted the free throw to trim the lead to 73-71 with 1:45 to go. With under a minute to go, David Noel knocked the ball away from Daniel Ewing, and Raymond Felton grabbed it for Carolina setting up a game-tying possession. Sound familiar? See above.

This time, Felton took the ball to the hoop and drew a foul. Felton nailed the first free throw to cut the lead to one, but missed the second one, but somehow managed to tip the rebound to Marvin Williams. Williams scored and drew the foul, giving the Tar Heels the lead and blowing the roof off the Smith Center in the process. The free throw made it 75-73. J.J. Redick’s final three-pointer rimmed out. The win propelled the Heels to the National Championship and Williams, Felton, May and Rashad McCants to the NBA.

THE BEGINNING OF THE HANSBROUGH RUN AT CAMERON or SO LONG J.J. REDICK GAME. March 4, 2006: No. 13 NORTH CAROLINA 83, No. 1 DUKE 76 – It was senior night for National Player of the Year and all-time ACC leading scorer J.J. Redick and two-time National Defensive Player of the Year Shelden Williams. North Carolina, the defending national champions, had lost the whole core of the team that won it all the year before, but came into the game on a 4-game winning streak. Freshmen Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green led North Carolina. ESPN broadcast the game on all three of its channels as part of its first ESPN Full Circle coverage, showing a marathon of past games hours before tipoff. Duke led early 13-2 as Redick caught fire and hit his first five shots. The Tar Heels fought back, cutting the deficit to one by halftime. Then Carolina stormed to a 72-62 second half lead. In spite of Hansbrough’s first ever shot-clock beating three-pointer, the Blue Devils gradually pulled within three points with 1:31 left. That was as close as it would get. The Heels hit their free throws down the stretch while Redick missed 15 of his last 16 shots. The game was watched by 3.78 million households on ESPN and ESPN2, making it the most-viewed men's college basketball game ever.

THE G IS THE REAL VICTIM HERE GAME. March 4, 2007: No. 8 NORTH CAROLINA 86, No. 1 DUKE 72 – There was blood. This game, which was part of a UNC season sweep, might not have been particularly memorable had not Gerald Henderson decided to assault Tyler Hansbrough’s nose with a mere 14.5 seconds left in the game. The contact broke Hansbrough's nose, drawing blood. The officials charged Henderson with a combative foul and ejected him from the game. After the foul, Hansbrough jumped up with blood streaming from his nose, but was calmed by his teammate Dewey Burke, before heading to the locker room for medical attention. The foul generated a variety of debates, including why both players were still playing so late in a game with the outcome determined. Since then, both Hansbrough and Henderson have stated the foul was unintentional. People in Durham believe Henderson, the folks eight miles down the road in Chapel Hill aren’t buying it.
THE EVE CARSON GAME. March 8, 2008. No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 76, No. 6 DUKE 68. Danny Green scored 18 points and Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough added 16 each. The most memorable moment of the game was the moment of silence held prior to tip off for murdered UNC student president Eve Carson, who was killed earlier that week in Chapel Hill. The unilateral show of sportsmanship and compassion will remain a hallmark of this storied rivalry.

THE HANSBROUGH INDOOR STADIUM GAME. February 11, 2008: No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 101, No. 5 DUKE 87 – Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Green and Bobby Frasor completed a freshmen-to-senior sweep of the Blue Devils at Cameron. Duke charged out to a 52-44 halftime lead, but UNC played tough defense in the second half while Ty Lawson was scoring 21 of his 25 points. The game’s most memorable moment was a screen shot of Coach K screaming (and spraying spit) on his players during a second half time out.

*props to Wikipedia for providing the date, score and summary for most of these games.

(Photosw by Andy Hayt/SI, Heinz Kluetmeier/SI., Manny Millan/SI, Albert Dickson/Icon SMI, AP Photos, Bob Rosato/SI)

BAGGY SHORTS OR SHORT SHORTS?

We say short shorts. Here are some YouTube highlights from Duke v. North Carolina...

Grey Blackwell cartoon “Coach Williams Strikes Back”…

Grey Blackwell cartoon “Coach Kommercial”…

A moment of silence for Eve Carson during post Duke victory celebration on Franklin Street.

Eclectic Sports Poet, Sean Pamphilon's spoken-word commentary on the most heated rivalry in college basketball.

North Carolina head coach Matt Doherty's most famous tribute to Duke Basketball and one Duke student's appreciation of the moment.

Peter Rosenberg lets the world know why Duke is and should be so hated-- (a parody of "This is Why I'm Hot" by M.I.M.S.)

Gay For Coach K…Peter Rosenberg's follow up to the original "This is Why Duke Sucks" above...
Young Sydney does a cheer for North Carolina…

Stakhouse’s reverse jam while double teamed…

The bloody Hansbrough aftermath from the uppper deck of the Dean Dome…

UNC's Larry Brown and Duke star Art Heyman get into a fight after Brown is fouled hard by Heyman while driving for a lay-up circa 1961…

Local news report about the Cameron Crazies…

The legend of Speedo Guy explained…

Jay Bilas weighs in on his top five Duke-UNC games at Cameron…

A very weird Duke v. UNC Pokemon Game

The North Carolina-Duke Never Graduate commercial…

Danny Green dunks OVER Greg Paulus…

One Duke fans feeble attempt at humor…

The 2008 post-loss to Maryland crying incident

Hansbrough’s three-pointer v. Duke…

FLORIDA STATE “ON PROBATION” UNTIL 2013, JOHN CLARK IN PADDED ROOM UNTIL DETAILS REVEALED

Let's call it an "enthusiastic wrist slap."

The Florida State football team will vacate an undetermined number of wins (do they have to give the money back?), serve four years' probation, and face a reduction in scholarships (all of three out of 85, oh my!) and other penalties (more jokes) due to what the NCAA described Friday as "major violations" from an academic cheating scandal.

Nine other programs were also penalized -- baseball, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's swimming, women's swimming, men's basketball, women's basketball, softball and men's golf -- and face the same sanctions. Overall, the scandal involved 61 athletes.

It is not immediately clear how many wins Florida State will have to vacate. Dennis Thomas, the vice chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions and acting chair for the FSU case, said only one ineligible player would have had to participate in a game for the entire team record to be vacated. Still, Thomas said the NCAA had no evidence the university knowingly played ineligible athletes.

Florida State is considering appealing the sanction that would force the Seminoles to vacate wins.

REALLY, IT’S NOT ALL THAT BAD: The football team will be limited to 83 total scholarships in 2008-09; 82 in 2009-10; and 84 in 2010-11; the maximum usually allowed by the NCAA is 85. Florida State self-imposed the loss of the two scholarships for 2008-09, and will self-impose the loss of three scholarships for 2009-10. The NCAA added an additional loss of scholarship from the maximum in 2010-11.
No word yet on how this will impact the Battle of the Ancient Ones - Paterno v. Bowden.

SMITH OUT, THOMAS UNCERTAIN FOR REMATCH WITH UNC

Coach Mike Krzyzhmb3ski said Friday that point guard Nolan Smith will miss Sunday's game as he continues to deal with a mild concussion suffered at Maryland last week. K also said junior forward Lance Thomas is still uncertain due to a sprained ankle suffered against Florida State on Tuesday.

However, 7-foot-1 junior Brian Zoubek will play despite a broken nose suffered against the Seminoles.

Smith has missed the past two games and has not been practicing, though the Blue Devils can play Jon Scheyer and Greg Paulus at the point. Thomas' health could be a bigger problem considering Duke doesn't have as much depth on the interior, an area the Tar Heels have an advantage with reigning national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, junior Deon Thompson, and freshmen Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller.

The 6-foot-8 Thomas hurt his left ankle after less than a minute of action in the first half against the Seminoles and did not return. He lightly ran in Friday's practice, though Krzyzewski said it was only at about 75 percent and that Thomas would need to practice Saturday in order to play.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

WHO SAYS THE NBA CAN'T BE FUNNY? Carmelo Anthony broke out of a shooting funk and scored 38 points in his return from a one-game suspension for refusing to come out of a game last weekend, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 106-90 win over Portland on Thursday night.

Former Tar Heel and coach George Karl downplayed the incident noting that once he had refused to come out of a game. Anthony, who has made his share of blunders, is generally know to be a good guy and his sense of humor came through during his big game against Blazers (the Portland ones, not the Nokesville ones).

When Karl replaced Anthony, this time Mello RAN to the bench which generated much laughter.
In his post game comments, Mello noted that, yes, he had learned his lesson.


(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

AND THEN THERE’S THIS…

We didn’t notice this first thing this morning as the spam filter tried to jettison it off to the Nether World, but luckily we caught it mid-morning.

Last night at 10:09 pm following the UNC v. VT game, T.A.H. received the following message from ESPN poster boy M. Hokie Tedeschi whose mug was so prominently featured during last night’s broadcast (see post below) from Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, VA.

Dear Editor,

While losing to the UNC Tar Heels with tourney hopes on the line is something that should devastate me, I am happy as hell. Why do you ask? Because moments after I was within inches of the LOML (Love Of My Life). Who do you ask?

Well…MISS Erin Andrews.


Well now, Master Tedeschi, well done.

Please note that this young Hokie respectfully addressed the Editor as such. Nice touch.

However, he did lose a few points with the explanation of LOML – as if the 50-something editor wouldn’t know what that means. Hey, here at T.A.H. we text, we Facebook, we TWITTER for crying out loud. So where’s the love?

This is not young Teschi's first trip to ACC Hottyville. At right he is seen with the Florida State cheerleaders at a Tech v. FSU football game.

Also props to M. for not wearing his hat backward and looking like a Blacksburg K-Fed Wanna Be – we hear Erin hates that look.

Hokie Ice.

T.A.H. out.

AND THEN DEPRESSION SET IN…

...but not before some serious ESPN face time was logged by the homies!

Hokie Nation was fired up last night for senior night in Cassel Colliseum and no Hokies were more fired up than M. Tedeschi (center yelling) and E. Gay (right beard). Tedeschi is a charter member of the T.A.H. Society. It’s not the first time the pair have found their way onto the television screen via ESPN. Gay is a Duke sympathizer, but we like him and his clan anyway.

We count at least three screen shots of the two in the North Carolina v. Virginia Tech broadcast, including two in the opening of the broadcast below.

Hey, fellas, next time, you need to wear your T.A.H. tee shirts (you know, the ones you don’t have yet…).

HEELS WEAR DOWN HOKIES

No. 2 NORTH CAROLINA 86, VIRGINIA TECH 78 – Tyler Hansbrough had 22 points and 15 rebounds as UNC used a 10-0 run after the Hokies closed within one point late in the second half. Unlike, the Maryland Meltdown, this time the Tar Heels played smart and made free throws at the end of the game.

Senior A.D. Vassallo did his part on Senior Night leading the Hokies (17-12, 7-8 ACC) with 25 points, while Malcolm Delaney had 19 and Jeff Allen added 18 points and 12 rebounds. Nonetheless, the Hokies were never able to take the lead.

The Tar Heels (26-3, 12-3), who lead Duke by one game heading into their regular-season finale Sunday in Chapel Hill, clinched at least a tie for the ACC title, and head coach Roy Williams said it is especially gratifying "because everybody was jumping ship after we were 0-2."

Danny Green, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half and hit two big 3-pointers, said the Tar Heels' ability to respond when Virginia Tech got close was critical.

"When a team goes on a run and you don't stop their run, it's hard to get your momentum back or swing it back your way," Green said. "We had to at some point stop their run and we stopped it when we needed to, when they tied the score up, and went on our little run."

Virginia Tech lost for the fifth time in six games and again saw its hopes of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament compromised. The Hokies have lost seven of their last 10 and they finish the regular season at No. 24 Florida State on Sunday.

Ty Lawson added 22 points for the Tar Heels and Wayne Ellington had 15.

The Tar Heels opened the game with a 17-8 run and led throughout the first half. Tech closed to 39-36 on Allen's dunk 43 seconds before halftime, but Hansbrough hit a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left in the half for the 42-36 lead.

(AP Photos/Steve Helber)

MORE WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOOPS

N.C. STATE 74, BOSTON COLLEGE 69 – About the time the folks in Raleigh start calling for Sidney Lowe’s head, the Wolfpack find a win or two to calm the restless mob.

Last night, Ben McCauley had 20 points and Tracy Smith added 14 points for the Wolfpack (16-12, 6-9 ACC), who ended a two-game skid despite nearly blowing an eight-point lead in the final 2 minutes. N.C. State shot 53 percent for the game, but didn't secure the victory until coming up with a key defensive stop followed by a clutch rebound in the final 20 seconds.

Rakim Sanders scored 21 points to lead the Eagles (20-10, 8-7), who got off to a quick start and led by eight points early. But aside from briefly taking the lead midway through the second half, Boston College was playing catch-up the entire night.

State played almost the entire second half without senior Courtney Fells, who suffered an apparent groin injury in the first half.

GEORGIA TECH 78, MIAMI 68 – The Hurricanes were a lot of experts sleeper pick to sneak into the Big Dance with a .500 regular season record. Then they lost to cellar dwellers Georgia Tech. That popping sound you hear is the proverbial bubble bursting…

Lewis Clinch (#0) scored a career-high 30 points in his final regular-season home game topped off by making nine of 16 three pointers. The victory ended the Jackets seven-game losing streak.

It was Georgia Tech’s (11-17, 2-13 ACC) first win since beating Wake Forest on Jan. 31.

Clinch's high mark for 3-pointers in an ACC game this season tied the second-highest total in school history, behind Dennis Scott's 11 against Houston on Dec. 28, 1988.

Miami (17-11, 6-9) cut the lead to 58-51 on back-to-back baskets by Brian Asbury, who had 16 points. Jack McClinton had 13 points and James Dews added 11 for Miami.

(AP Photo/The News and Observer, Ethan Hyman and AP Photo/Stanley Leary)

THOSE WILD AND CRAZY COLLEGE PARK KIDS

Like they need any help...

The Maryland fans can be a little tough, but they still rise to the occasion when needed. We love the giant photos of Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer they hold up during Duke games, and it was a Maryland guy that came up with the now very famous anti-Duke anthem This Is Why Duke Sucks which is, in a word, a classic.

Last week, a young Terp got a hold of the hotel phone numbers for the Duke players while they were in College Park to play the Terps. The kids called the Duke players’ rooms all night long. Funny, but it didn’t work. The Blue Devils won anyway.

However, the guys at CollegeHumor.com must have gotten wind of this little prank and decided that Terrapin Nation was the perfect support group for a stunt they pulled at last night’s Maryland Wake Forest game.

Dan Steinberg’s at D.C. Sport’s Blog covered it nicely:

Jeez, skip one lousy home game against a Top 25 team and you miss an appearance by Jared from Subway AND this halftime prank, which may or may not have been fake but is worth watching anyhow. Now if Dave Neal had taken a blindfolded half-court short, he definitely, definitely would have made it....

Oh, and The Post is definitely gonna do a series of investigative articles on the pranksters, what Gary knew, when he knew it, and whether he shared any of the information with Kathy Worthington.

(The prank involved one guy from College Humor, with help from a friend who works for ESPN, getting another guy from College Humor out onto the court for a blindfolded half-court shot with $500 k on the line. The crowd was told to cheer when the guy shot, to make him think he had cashed in. They did. And he, apparently, did.)

Hang with it, it's worth it...

DEAR MR. SNYDER

C’mon give him a SHOT.

Evidently, the COWBOYS have decided to release T.O. ridding them of a big locker-room PLAGUE while absorbing a BIG HIT on their salary cap. That is so REDSKIN.

GRAB him. You can make it WORK, you can DO IT!

Coach Groovy JZ can keep him all MEDIUM.

Remember Jeff George? EASY!

Sincerely,

A Loyal Fan

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

EVERYBODY WANG CHAO TONIGHT! China's Wang Chao breaks his bat for a grounder to shortstop as Japan's catcher Kenji Johjima, left, looks on in the fifth inning of their Pool A opening game at the World Baseball Classic at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, March 5, 2009.

Evidently, those are not Louisville Sluggers.
Here, Japan's second baseman Akinori Iwamura of the Tampa Bay Rays breaks his bat on a grounder as China's catcher Yang Yang, right, looks on in the second inning.

(AP Photos/Koji Sasahara)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

WHEN IT ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY HAS TO GET OVER THE NET. OK, now we LOVE badminton photos. They’re cool.

Here, Lu Lan of China plays against Judith Meulendijks of Holland (not pictured) during The Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships second round at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, central England, on March 5, 2009.


(Photo by Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER STUDENT. Well…no.

Georgia Tech guard Lewis Clinch, left, signs Tech student Molly Clark's jersey after a game-high 30 points against Miami in an NCAA college basketball game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 78-68.

(AP Photo/Stanley Leary)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

DUKE SENIORS LEAVE HANSBROUGH INDOOR STADIUM WITH A HARD FOUGHT WIN

No. 7 DUKE 84, No. 24 FLORIDA STATE 81 – Gerald “Elbows” Henderson scored nine of his 21 points in the final two minutes to help knock off the underrated Seminoles.

Kyle Singler scored 20 points, Jon Scheyer added 17 and Henderson had 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (25-5, 11-4 ACC).

They won their fifth straight, matched the NCAA record for most wins in a decade with 286 and moved a half-game behind No. 2 North Carolina in the league standings.

Toney Douglas scored 27 points for the Seminoles (22-8, 9-6), and his 3-pointer from the right wing gave Florida State a 76-74 lead with 2:25 remaining.

That's when Henderson took over. He countered with a 3 from the right corner with 1:39 remaining to put Duke up 77-76. After the Blue Devils forced a stop on Douglas, he knocked down two free throws to make it a three-point game with 57.3 seconds left.

Douglas had two defenders in his face as he missed a 3 with about 45 seconds remaining, and the rebound made its way to Henderson — who hustled downcourt, sidestepped one defender and drew contact from Solomon Alabi as he hit a layup. Game over.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

GREIVIS VASQUEZ NOT SURE WHO TO TAUNT NOW…

No. 10 WAKE FOREST 65, MARYLAND 63 – The loss leaves Maryland clinging precariously to the bubble. If the Terps can beat Virginia in the finale, they will finish the regulars season 8-8, but Big Dance prognosticators don’t seem to think that is good enough with the Morgan State loss at home dangling around their necks. It is likely that Maryland will have to win at least two ACC tournament games along with their regular season finale to get a bid.

Wake’s Al-Farouq Aminu posted a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds.

With the win, Wake Forest moves to 23-5 overall and 10-5 in the ACC. The Deacons have posted double-digit ACC wins for the first time since 2004-05 (13-3) and just the third time in the past 12 seasons.

Maryland drops to 18-11 overall and 7-8 in league play.

The Terps led by as many as 11 in the first half before Wake staged its comeback in the second period. With the Terrapins holding a 54-48 lead with just over seven minutes left, the Deacons went on an 11-0 run to re-take the lead for good.

It was senior night for the Terps’ Dave Neal, whom T.A.H. College Basketball Analyst Tom “The Blaze” Blaser has labeled “not a Divisison 1 basketball player” (on more than one occasion, we might add!). To his credit, as Blaze also notes, Neal is all brains and hustle. Last night, Neal (#35) outplayed both his resume and his pedigree scoring 19 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

Jeff Teague went 4-for-5 at the free throw line in the final minute to ice the game for Wake.

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

UVA: THE ACC'S GET WELL MEDICINE

No. 18 CLEMSON 75, VIRGINIA 57 – The Hoos are floundering, again.

Terrence Oglesby scored 18 points and the Tigers used their strength – inside powere – to snap a two-game skid with a victory over Virginia on Tuesday night.

Clemson also held Virginia's star freshman, Sylven Landesberg, to three foul shots. Landesberg came in averaging 17.4 points, but missed all six shots he took. Landesberg is nothing else if not inconsistent.
Calvin Baker had 18 points to lead the Cavs (9-17, 3-12 ACC), who've lost four in a row.


The Tigers had lost back-to-back games to Virginia Tech and Florida State. It was only the second time this season they had lost consecutive games. They trailed the Cavaliers 33-32 early in the second half.

But Oglesby's outside touch and an assortment of dunks from forwards Trevor Booker (#35), Raymond Sykes and Jerai Grant helped Clemson pull away.

Sykes finished with 14 points while Booker had 13 points and 15 rebounds, his 11th double-double this season.

(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

SMITH STILL OUT AFTER HARD PICK AGAINST TERPS

Duke sophomore Nolan Smith is out indefinitely with a mild concussion suffered in a win at Maryland.

The point guard was injured when he collided with Dave Neal after the Terrapins center set a hard screen near the foul line in the second half of Duke's 78-67 victory on Wednesday night.

Smith collapsed to the floor and stayed there for several minutes before leaving the game. He did not return.

The school said team medical staff examined Smith after they returned home that night and again Thursday. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Smith had improved, but added that the team was going to "proceed cautiously."

Smith is averaging about 9 points per game for the No. 7 Blue Devils, who play Saturday at Virginia Tech.

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Duke's Gerald "Elbows" Henderson has been named ACC Player of the Week and Florida State's Soloman Alabi is the ACC Rookie of the Week.

Little is known about Henderson other than he plays for Duke and has a propensity to create offense “space” with his left elbow. He played in a couple of games last week and scored some points and got some rebounds, steals, blocks and assists.

In earning ACC Rookie honors for the second time in four weeks, Alabi averaged 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots as the Seminoles split two league games. In Tuesday's 72-67 setback at Boston College, Alabi had 16 points, seven rebounds, four blocked shots and two assists while playing a career-high 34 minutes.

In Saturday's 73-66 win over No. 12 Clemson, the Kaduna, Nigeria, freshman had five points and two blocked shots, both of which came in the game's final 2:25 to preserve the win. Alabi currently leads the ACC in blocked shots per game (2.1).

(Getty Images)

FORMER WOLFPACK STANDOUT AMONG THOSE LOST AT SEA

By now, you’ve heard the story about the four men lost at sea over the weekend. Early Monday, the Coast Guard rescued Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida player, clinging to their capsized boat 35 miles off Clearwater.

Missing and presume lost are Corey Smith, a 29-year-old free agent who played for the Wolfpack from 1999 to 2002; Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, 26; and former South Florida player William Bleakley, 25.

Schuyler told rescuers that the boat the four friends were aboard was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas, said Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close.

Yesterday, after searching over three days and combing 24,000 miles of ocean, the Coast Guard stopped called off search and rescue efforts.

Smith, who drew accolades from various folks involved with the N.C. State program, was overlooked in the NFL draft. That didn’t stop the free agent from playing seven seasons with three teams, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Smith, a Richmond, VA, native, had 30 tackles, including three sacks, and an interception last season for the winless Detroit Lions.

(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, HO and AP Photo by Duane Burleson)

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Duke survived FSU last night setting up a rematch with the Tar Heels. The Blue Devils travel to UNC on Sunday for the ACC season finale.

Needless to say, the gang in Chapel Hill is already getting fired up with this love note to Duke’s Greg Paulus.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO…

HMMM…

We are taught early on that change is the only consistent thing in life. It would seem that sports serves as a nice little microcosm for said life, so maybe college basketball is a subset of the subset…

A lot has changed in college basketball over the years – players are bigger, stronger and faster. New shots (dunk, three-pointers) have been introduced along with a shot clock.

And, then there are the shorts – from tight-tight to big and baggy…

But, one thing has changed…Free throw percentages for college players are virtually the same as they were years and years ago. According to John Branch of the New York Times, “Since the mid-1960s, men's college players have made about 69 percent of free throws…”

Read the whole story here, it’s interesting: http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1427978.html

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

THE T.A.H. DEBUT FOR BADMINTON. Pi Hongyan of France in her first round women's single match against Saina Nehwal of India during The Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, on March 4, 2009.


Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia plays against Hsieh Yu Hsin of Chinese Taipei during the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships.

(Photos by Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ANOTHER RARE BIRD - POLO. Former Argentine football striker Gabriel Batistuta takes part in a polo match between Loro Piana team and Chapelco, in Buenos Aires, on March 3, 2009.

Batistuta participates in the IV Argentina Polo Tour tournament for Loro Piana, led by Adolfo Cambiaso, considered by T.A.H. to be the best polo player in the world.

(Photo by Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, March 2, 2009

SUNDAY HOOPS

MARYLAND 71, N.C. STATE 60

From ESPN:
Greivis Vasquez scored 21 of his 33 points in the second half to help Maryland beat North Carolina State 71-60 on Sunday night.

Dave Neal added 11 points for the Terrapins (18-10, 7-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won four of six games as they make a late-season push for a bid to the NCAA tournament. Maryland led most of the way, but needed a late push to take the lead for good with about 7 1/2 minutes left.

Tracy Smith scored 19 points to lead the Wolfpack (15-12, 5-9), who remained winless against Maryland in four tries under third-year coach Sidney Lowe.

Vasquez bounced back from a frustrating performance in Wednesday's loss to Duke, going 13-for-23 from the field to go with five assists. By the end of the game, however, he was taunting Wolfpack fans and even buried a 3-pointer at the horn just to needle them even further.


(AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

HANSBROUGH, HEELS ROLLING AGAIN

No. 5 NORTH CAROLINA 104, No. 161 GEORGIA TECH 74 – You have to admit, that Tyler Hansbrough, he’s funny.

Regarding his setting of the NCAA all-time free throws made record he set yesterday with foul shots 899 through 907, Hansbrough deadpanned, "There's a lot of fouls involved."

After making only 11 trips to the charity stripe in the last three games when his season average would dictate 30 such trips, suddenly the zebras decided that hacking Hansbrough was again a punishable offense.

This follows a week when John Clougherty, the ACC's coordinator of men's basketball officials, defended the league's officiating saying he had watched more video of Hansbrough than any other ACC Hoopster. According to the official on offficals, the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder is "one of the most difficult to officiate because he doesn't shy away from contact -- he wills himself on people."

And instead of leaping over defenders, Clougherty added, "he usually gets them on his hip and initiates the contact ... and referees are less likely to penalize the defender if the offense creates the contact."

If that's the case, however, Hansbrough has been challenging defenders and initiating collisions since he arrived at Carolina. So what, if anything, is different from last year or the year before that or the year before that?

Clougherty, and others, claim Hansbrough has adjusted his game, shooting more jump shots this season and getting fewer touches.

While we agree with those assessments, the “officials call it differently if you initiate contact” seems like complete nonsense used to rationalize inconsistency. Were that actually the case, Duke’s Gerald Henderson’s flying elbow would have him eliminated with five offensive fouls by halftime of every game.

However, with whistles clamped firmly between teeth, Karl Hess, Roger Ayers ,Les Jones sent Psycho T to the line eight times on Saturday, and the senior made all eight to set the NCAA record.

He entered the game just six shy of Dickie Hemric's mark of 905. He tied Hemric (Wake Forest) with 6:43 left in the first half and broke the record with 14:54 to play. In Hansbrough's typically understated style, he appeared oblivious to the record until his accomplishment was announced a few minutes later during a timeout.

All in all, Hansbrough had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Green added 23 points for the ACC leading Tar Heels , who bounced back from their overtime loss at Maryland a week earlier and used a pair of huge runs to reach the 25-win mark for the third straight year.

UNC (25-3, 11-3 ACC) took the lead for good during a 21-5 run midway through the first half that also put them up by double figures to stay, and pushed the lead to 20 barely 2 minutes into the second half while opening the half with a 14-2 spurt.

Lewis Clinch scored 22 points and Alade Aminu added 19 to lead the last-place Yellow Jackets (10-17, 1-13), who lost their seventh straight and were emphatically denied their first victory in Chapel Hill since 1996.

Deon Thompson and Wayne Ellington added 10 points apiece, and the Tar Heels shot 53.6 percent while forcing 18 turnovers and holding Tech's freshman star, Iman Shumpert, scoreless for the first time this season on 0-of-6 shooting.

(Photo by Zeke Smith/CarolinaBlue.com and Robert Willet/Raleigh News & Observer)

GIMME FIVE STEPS: DUKE SHUFFLES PAST HOKIES



No. 7 DUKE 72, No. 66 VIRGINIA TECH 65 – It was ugly.

For most of the game, Virginia Tech couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a beach ball and leading scorer Malcom Delaney put up a whopping two points in the first half. Both teams shot poorly (Duke 42.2 percent, Virginia Tech 41.1 percent), and neither could find their range from behind the arc – Duke finished six of 20 (30 percent) while the Hokies could only manage four out of 12 (25 percent).

But still, Virginia Tech shook off the bad shooting and the 19 turnovers to tie the game late at 58-58. Then that old Duke magic took over yet again.

Clinging to a 68-65 lead, the Blue Devils inbounded the ball to Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer. The new Duke point guard was immediately double teamed for more than the requisite five seconds. To further muddy the waters, replays showed Scheyer doing the “Elliot Williams Dance.” We’re feeling charitable – say four steps, maybe five.

No call. Duke time out. Virginia Tech Foul on the ensuing inbounds. Duke makes both free throws. Game over.

Kyle Singler scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half after foul trouble forced him to watch much of the first half, and he made the Hokies pay for focusing too much on Gerald Henderson.

The Blue Devils (24-5, 10-4 ACC) won their fourth in a row and stayed a game behind ACC-leading North Carolina.

"We want to win this league and we needed to get this win," said John Scheyer, who scored 16 points. "We needed it not only in the league, but going into March, we need wins like this."

Virginia Tech, meantime, is still looking for at least one more victory to boost its tournament credentials, and the Hokies felt like they missed an opportunity after A.D. Vassallo shot them back into the game. He scored 26 points to lead the Hokies (17-11, 7-7), and accounted for all 15 in a 15-4 run that drew them even with six minutes left.

But the Blue Devils outscored the Hokies 14-7 the rest of the way, and coach Seth Greenberg was livid when it was over because of a the non-call on Scheyer.

"We did a great job with the press, get a good trap, and unfortunately could have had a chance to win the game, but the refs didn't see the same walk I saw," Greenberg said.

Vassallo also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Hokies, and Jeff Allen and J.T. Thompson each scored 13. Scoring leader Malcolm Delaney, forced to play point guard in the absence of ailing backup Hank Thorns, missed 10 of 12 shots and scored just seven points but had eight assists.

(Photos by AP Photo/Don Petersen)

TIGERS AMIDST ANOTHER LATE SEASON SWOON

No. 25 FLORIDA STATE 73, No. 13 CLEMSON 68 – Clemson started the season 16-0 and has gone 6-6 since. Sound familiar?

The Tigers, who are known for fast starts and stumbling finishes, added another chapter to their late season woes losing a tough game at Florida State.

Toney Douglas scored 23 points as the Seminoles held off a late rally by the Tigers. The win puts FSU very close to an NCAA bid – their first in 11 years.

"I'd say we're in, but we have more games too," Douglas said afterward. "I know if we'd lost after having an 18-point lead, I'd have cried afterward."

Douglas has now scored 20 or more points in 11 of Florida State's last 13 ACC games and had 19 the other two times.

The Seminoles (22-7, 9-5) led 39-27 at halftime and opened their largest advantage at 51-33 early in the second half, but Clemson closed to within 63-60 on five points by Raymond Sykes in a span of just 12 seconds.

But then it was Douglas, hitting a half dozen straight free throws to ice the game.

Clemson (22-6, 8-6) was led by K.C. Rivers 17 points. Trevor Booker was held to eight points, but had 13 rebounds.

Derwin Kitchen and freshman Chris Singleton each had 10 points for the Seminoles, who swept Clemson for the first time since the 2000-2001 season.

Terrence Oglesby added 12 points for Clemson on 4-of-10 shooting from 3-point distance while Sykes finished with 10 points and four blocked shots.

Booker, the Tigers leading scorer on the season, went scoreless until there was just 1:50 left in the half when he hit a close-range scoop shot.

The win clinched FSU’s second winning ACC record in the past 16 years.


At halftime, Florida State retired the jersey No. 33 worn by Ron King, who led the Seminoles to the 1972 national title game and still holds the school's single-game scoring record of 46 points.

(AP Photos/Steve Cannon)

WAKE FORSEST BEATS VIRGINIA

…as does everybody else except Virginia Tech, but we’ve already covered that.

And, again, it wasn’t pretty.

No. 14 WAKE FOREST 70, No. 100 VIRGINIA 60 – Jeff Teague scored just 12 points – eight below his average – but hit a crucial 3-pointer with 2:11 left after Virginia had pulled within 56-53 on Mike Scott's jump hook. It was one of only two 3-pointers for Wake Forest and the only one for Teague, who finished 2-for-9 from the field.

Freshman Sylvan Landesberg, who leads Virginia at nearly 18 points per game, had an even more frustrating afternoon. He scored just 10 points.

The Demon Deacons (22-5, 9-5 ACC) shot poorly against Virginia's zone defense, but they more than made up for it with dominance under the basket. They scored 22 of their first 24 points on layups, putbacks and dunks, many of them in transition. Fifteen of their rebounds came at the offensive end.

Virginia (9-16, 3-11) was without its most imposing inside presence, 7-foot center Assane Sene, who injured an ankle in Thursday night's loss to Miami. Sene, who leads Virginia with 34 blocked shots, was replaced in the starting lineup by Tunji Soroye, whose only field goal of the game gave the Cavaliers their only lead at 2-0.

Al-Farouq Aminu and Chas McFarland scored 12 points for the Demon Deacons.

Calvin Baker led Virginia with 13 points. Mamadi Diane added 12 in just 17 minutes off the bench.

Virginia's 1984 Final Four team was honored during a halftime ceremony. That team went only 6-8 in the ACC but received a surprise at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament. The Cavaliers beat Iona, Arkansas, Syracuse and Indiana to reach the Final Four, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon-led Houston.

(AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)

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